There once was a girl. Or at least, she started out as girl. People didn’t really see her that way. Then again, people never really seemed to see her at all. I mean, they looked at her. They definitely looked. But no one ever saw. They only saw what they wanted to see, what they were comfortable with, what they could easily consume.
At school, they made her the siren–most enchanting from a distance but come any closer and she’d lure you to your death; so no one ever dared to get too close. To some, she was a sphinx; full of riddles and nearly impossible to get through to. They thought they were the answer; they didn’t realize that there wasn’t any. Sometimes, they made her out to be a mermaid of some kind. As the legend went, she would make promises with no legs and would swim away as soon as tides got a little rough. When they couldn’t quite put a name to what she was, they would just give her any name they saw fit.
Sometimes, they would mistake her for Medusa, the Gorgon. They’d tell you not to look too closely at her, no matter how curious you get. That if you did, you’d never come back; that even if you did come back, you’d come back hardened and heartless and forever changed.
So which one was she?
Was she the siren or the Sphinx or the mermaid or the Gorgon?
No one could ever quite put their finger on it. Maybe she was all of the above, maybe none. Maybe she was all that and more. Maybe she was all that plus the little cracks and quiet moments in between that make a person less myth, more human. Maybe she was all winding roads left undiscovered and no one ever knew. But no one ever knew because no one ever understood.
And what people can’t explain, they turn into myth.